purchasing new hardware


DianeP
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Getting close to that time of the year to start looking at investing in my business. This year I want to get a second laptop. A lady that also uses CA mentioned she has the Laptop P Series P70 with a matte screen. I think this would be good for working without seeing myself in the reflection and for working in an outdoor environment with bright sunlight.

I am also looking at getting a wireless external hard drive that my two laptops could access files from and write to and have this external hard drive backed up onto my server, which is mirrored, as well as to an online backup service. Right now I'm using OneDrive for my online backup.

Does anyone have any suggestions or recommendations on the changes I have in mind?

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Most Routers now allow you to connect a USB HDD to them for Storage on the network , so you really may not need a "wireless external HDD to accomplish that goal especially if you already own a USB ext. Drive.

 

If that P70  is the Lenovo Thinkpad ( you don't give brand ) then you don't need to spend that much as Chief does not require a Nvidia Quadro Graphics Card, a normal gaming Nvidia Laptop would be fine with say a 1060 or 1070 GTX depending on Budget, eg one of MSI GP Series like in my Sig. (models numbers differ in CDN to US)

 

As I have just found out many laptops have TN Panels which my eyes cannot handle but if your Current Desktop monitor is a TN LCD rather than IPS technology you are probably okay with a TN screen at 60 or 120hz screen resolution.

 

M.

 

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38 minutes ago, Kbird1 said:

If that P70  is the Lenovo Thinkpad ( you don't give brand ) then you don't need to spend that much as Chief does not require a Nvidia Quadro Graphics Card, a normal gaming Nvidia Laptop would be fine with say a 1060 or 1070 GTX depending on Budget, eg one of MSI GP Series like in my Sig. (models numbers differ in CDN to US)

 

As I have just found out many laptops have TN Panels which my eyes cannot handle but if your Current Desktop monitor is a TN LCD rather than IPS technology you are probably okay with a TN screen at 60 or 120hz screen resolution.

 

M.

 

I work with AutoCAD as well and want a pretty robust system.  Will look into the ones you mentioned.  Also need to learn about the monitor types you mentioned. Are all these available in matte options? Thanks!

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Yes , TN panels in LCDs can be Glossy or Matte , some LCDs are also MVA (VA) like my BenQ Monitors , they are also typically Flicker Free but VA isn't common on Laptops yet, AFAIK.

 

*** many laptop screens now say IPS "Level" in the description, this is usually a sign it is actually a AH-VA type screen, not TN , only LG can use the term IPS apparently as it is TradeMarked.

 

http://www.tnpanel.com/tn-vs-ips-va/

 

https://www.gamersnexus.net/guides/1890-panel-comparison-tn-ips-pls-va-crt

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thin-film-transistor_liquid-crystal_display

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPS_panel

 

 

As far as AutoCAD you could check the system requirements , I know some Engineering Packages require or suggest a Quadro for "Precision" but I am unsure if that is needed in Architectural Environments. They do suggest 4GB of memory though here

 

https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/autocad/learn-explore/caas/sfdcarticles/sfdcarticles/System-requirements-for-AutoCAD-2019-including-Specialized-Toolsets.html

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I know everyone is going to have "their fav", but i've been particularly impressed with MSI products.  My laptop (which isn't my main workstation) from MSI is full metal construction, solid spec, and focused on cooling - which is the single most important thing for a laptop user to consider when doing high end graphics/modeling.

 

No matter the spec of your laptop, if its not good at cooling then it will "throttle" down (automatically limit) your performance to the best cooling profile it can make for itself.  This means you might pay for an awesome processor or video card and the computer just slows it down regardless.

 

 

 

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I've used laptops exclusively for almost 15 years now and would second what Johnny and Kbird say about heat management-I've gotten to be a Clevo  though both times MSI was in the final running, just decided on the Sager/Clevo (next time will be an Evoc/Clevo). In the higher end machines both brands have good cooling-thinner lighter machines need to be investigated for either though.

Some information on specific models for most brands (few clevos but some rebranded machines) can be had in reviews at laptopmag.com. More extensive information can be had in the forums at notebookreview.com under each specific brand, here you will find every brand out there.

Now those forums are comprised primarily of gamers and geeks so it can get to be a bit to wade through. I look for the owner's lounge for models I'm interested in and hopefully find an initial user review; more of those are available for higher end machines than others. That means few details on anything "thin and light".

Since it's my primary machine I've gotten around to getting desktop CPU's in them making the machine start at about 8 lbs and at least an inch plus in thickness. Those also don't have long battery life so I have to bring a power brick when I travel, which I do often. (I use the Spectre for quickies and job sites though) The upside to the desktop CPU (beside juice) is I don't have to deal with Optimus.

 

In the early days I ran Dell Precisions with Quadro cards, switched to GTX cards about a year or so after using Chief. Back then TurboCad ran just fine on the GTX cards, nowadays not as nicely as it lags a lot when going to Save As but Draftsight (which does less) is just fine. There are a couple of Acad users on here, maybe they can tell you more. In my case I'm not going beck to Quadros.

I always got the Precisions from the business section of Dell which got me excellent domestic support (unlike the home section). Since switching I get the Clevos, and would get any other brand from a reseller -prices are competitive, usually have more configuration options (depending on brand), talk with someone who knows something, usually include support with them on top of factory AND in most cases they actually test the machine before sending it out. IMO the only way to go.

 

External drive-I have a Western Digital MyCloud (some number?) Works fine. Didn't like the initial setup instructions much but fine when I got it going. Comes with decent collection of software including Acronis (for imaging-I already had Macrium so use that on a machine where I don't have a Macrium license). It was handy when I had the showroom so I could keep backup in a different location, now it's on my desk though and currently hardwired for the main machine-wireless and remote access as needed. I really couldn't justify a higher end NAS device but it's more than just an extra external (Buffalo which is in a drawer now)

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All mentioned are Windows machines. BTW-Hidevolution.com (source for Evoc) also carries the Lenovo and MSI workstations with Quadro cards if you decide to go that way.

Folks in the Clevo section of the notebookreview forum often suggest contacting Donald there and that there is a discount for mentioning Notebookreview  forum or being a member-not sure which check over there. FWIW if speaking with tech folks tell them that Chief likes the GTX cards, they often assume it would prefer Quadros if they aren't familiar with it. 

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24 minutes ago, DRAWZILLA said:

liquid cooled just works

Um uh, that's a desktop isn't it P?

AFAIK only Asus tried a liquid cooled laptop. FWIW the Alienware laptops were Clevos until Dell bought them out, part of why I went that way when switching from Precision. 

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Looks like you got your laptop questions answered.  

 

Keep in mind that OneDrive is not a backup service, rather it is a synchronization service.  If you screw up and delete a bunch of files or folders, or perhaps you get attacked and your files get renamed and encrypted, OneDrive immediately syncs all that.  I know someone that inadvertently deleted a folder of photos, apparently it was a long time later that she realized it, it was no longer on her OneDrive either.....it had done exactly what she told it to do.......

 

I use OneDrive and generally like it, but on more than one occasion I have done something boneheaded with Chief files and of course OneDrive was useless in recovering the previous versions because it synced the new one.  If my Chief archives don't have it my real backups always have the old version. 

 

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Getting slightly off-topic on the subject of backups, but this past summer I started using Backblaze for online backup services.  Pricing was very reasonable (+/-$65CDN/year for unlimited storage), backups run constantly in the background (if you choose that option), and it retains multiple versions of everything it uploads.  When restoring files, you can select the file versions by the date they were backed up.

 

I've needed to use it for minor restores a few times now, and it seems quite smooth.  The initial backup took some time, of course... 2tb over a 10Mbps upload link.

 

Roland

 

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On 9/18/2018 at 2:18 PM, DianeP said:

I work with AutoCAD as well and want a pretty robust system.  Will look into the ones you mentioned.  Also need to learn about the monitor types you mentioned. Are all these available in matte options? Thanks!

 

This is the Laptop MarkMc has help me find and I will likely Order next week Diane, it is configurable but they also have higher end machines depending on your Budget, for me it is a secondary machine , so not totally spec'd out, though that isn't always necessary as often the internal components are all the same in higher end machines, ie they tend to be all Aluminium for example rather than plastic or have G-Sync capable Screens which isn't necessary for ACAD or X10. (gamers like it for fast paced action)

 

The 17" screen is AHVA ( IPS like) not TN which is similare to AMVA which my 32" BenQ monitors have , and so should be an issue for me with the Flicker.

 

I have spoken to ProStar several times in my research and they have been very nice, helpful etc , and answered on the 2nd ring both times which was nice...no phone menus to deal with, straight to a real person :)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xY_Zj3clviE&feature=

 

https://www.pro-star.com/n870ep6.html

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On 9/22/2018 at 11:49 AM, Kbird1 said:

 

This is the Laptop MarkMc has help me find and I will likely Order next week Diane, it is configurable but they also have higher end machines depending on your Budget, for me it is a secondary machine , so not totally spec'd out, though that isn't always necessary as often the internal components are all the same in higher end machines, ie they tend to be all Aluminium for example rather than plastic or have G-Sync capable Screens which isn't necessary for ACAD or X10. (gamers like it for fast paced action)

 

The 17" screen is AHVA ( IPS like) not TN which is similare to AMVA which my 32" BenQ monitors have , and so should be an issue for me with the Flicker.

 

I have spoken to ProStar several times in my research and they have been very nice, helpful etc , and answered on the 2nd ring both times which was nice...no phone menus to deal with, straight to a real person :)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xY_Zj3clviE&feature=

 

https://www.pro-star.com/n870ep6.html

Wow! Nice setup.  Thanks for sharing with me.

 

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